APSF Awards 3 Grants for Safety Research

Arthur S. Keats, M.D.

The Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation announced at its annual meeting in October the awards of its Research Grants Program, now in its second year. The purpose of the program is to support clinical research directed toward enhancing patient safety during and after anesthesia. Twenty applications were received and the three applications ranked highest by the Committee on Scientific Evaluation were funded. The grantees are:

I . Howard A. Schwid, M.D. University of

Washington School of Medicine The Anesthesia Simulator-Recorder: A Device to Quantify Anesthesiologists’ Response to Critical Incidents. $35,000.

2. Eugene K. Betts, M.D. The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Evaluation of the Incidence of Oxygen Desaturation, Laryngospasm and Bronchospasm in Children with Upper Respiratory Tract Infections Undergoing Anesthesia. s I 9,000.

3 . Deborah S. Kitz, Ph.D. Hospitals of the University of Pennsylvania The Incidence and Magnitude of Intraoperative Physiologic Changes: A Foundation for Developing Artificial Intelligence Tools. $33,480.

Dr. Schwid has developed an anesthesia simulation system based on a graphic computer work station. He plans to modify this system by programming a variety of critical incidents into the simulator. The critical incidents simulator will then be evaluated as a training device, as a device for studying responses to critical incidents and possibly as a test of some performance characteristics of individual anesthesiologists. A scoring system for performance in this format will also be developed.

Dr. Betts will test the hypothesis that there is no significant increase in the incidence of perioperative oxygen desaturation, laryngospasm or bronchospasm in healthy children who have an upper respiratory infection at the time of their general anesthesia for day surgery operations compared to a group without infection. The study promises a definitive basis for either postponing operation in the interest of safety or going ahead in the interest of cost containment.

In Dr. Kitz’s institution, many outpatients undergo operations with local anesthesia without attendance by an anesthesiologist but with an automatic physiologic data gathering system. Dr. Kitz plans to collect in a systematic fashion the hemodynamic and oxygen saturation data of these patients and to correlate them with other patient characteristics in order to identify groups of patients and operations at greater risk. The study promises to identify the risks of local anesthesia and sedation.

The Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation awards grants annually for research in patient safety. Awards are based on competing applications. An announcement of 1988 application details and deadline appears in this issue.

Dr. Keats is Chief, Division of Cardiovascular Anesthesia, Texas Heart Institute and Chairman, APSF Committee on Scientific Evaluation.